Matt Higgins - 12 Sports Athlete of the Week

Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 10:53 PM EDT
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OWEGO, N.Y. (WBNG) - The best soccer teams have a rhythm.

For Owego, that tempo is kept by junior center midfielder Matt Higgins.

“I’m not sure how he runs that much, to be honest with you. He’s able to direct guys and put the ball where the ball needs to be in critical positions for us to score,” said Owego senior goalkeeper Ben Rollison.

“I just like to get on the ball and keep it moving. Even if it’s going back. Just pass the ball and give everyone a chance to show themselves,” explained Higgins.

Owego has won two straight Section 4 titles, and since starting as a freshman, Matt has been in the middle of both runs.

“He just keeps the ball moving. He connects his passes, which is just so important as a center midfielder the way we want to play. If he didn’t do that right, our play would be just a little less consistent. It would be a little more stagnated and would give opponents a chance to attack us,” said Owego head coach Alessio De Michele.

The center midfielder position in soccer is one of the most important on the field as they’re in charge of building up the offense by getting everyone involved.

“Keep the ball rolling. Being the metronome. When it’s in Matt’s feet it’s always going to be safe. He brings the whole team forward and he brings the best out of his teammates. He just sets them up with the quality of his passing,” explained De Michele.

That musical comparison is spot on for Matt, who also plays the keyboard.

“As a keyboard player I kind of just keep the rhythm. I try to not let the music get off track and I feel like I do the same thing with soccer. Trying to keep everything in motion the way we want it to go so that way it doesn’t go astray,” said Higgins.

Now Matt is focused on getting this Owego team ready for another playoff run and going even further than before.

“This has always been the goal. To make it to states and to make it to sectionals. To win both. Really hope we get past sectionals and make a run for it,” said Higgins.

The team is already 2-0 and Matt plans on keeping that winning rhythm.